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The overall goal of the research in our laboratory is to investigate acoustic communication in animals. We take a comparative approach, measuring hearing and vocalizations in a number of different species, including birds and mice. We do psychoacoustic studies of hearing in animals using operant conditioning techniques, and we record sonic and ultrasonic vocalizations from our subjects in various contexts.
Our mouse studies involve learning more about the production and perception of acoustic signals. We are measuring auditory acuity in mice for simple and complex sounds, including the natural vocalizations of these animals. We compare hearing across the lifespan for male and female mice and look at the effects of noise on auditory acuity in different populations of mice. Finally, we are conducting studies in mouse models of tinnitus, autism, and Alzheimer’s disease, measuring hearing across the lifespan and in various social contexts.